Carson–Newman University

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Carson-Newman University)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Carson–Newman University
Carson–Newman seal.png
Former names
Mossy Creek Missionary Baptist Seminary
Carson College
Newman College
Carson and Newman College
MottoTruth, Beauty, Goodness
Religious affiliation
Southern Baptist
Endowment$57.5 million (2017)
PresidentDr. Paul Percy (interim)
Administrative staff
Undergraduates1,774 (fall 2018)
Postgraduates786 (fall 2018)
Location, ,
CampusSuburban, ca 200 acres (roughly 1 mi wide by .4 mi deep)
ColorsOrange & Blue
AthleticsNCAA Division IISAC
AffiliationsTennessee Baptist Convention
Carson–Newman logo.png

Carson–Newman University is a Christian liberal arts university in Jefferson City, Tennessee, United States. Founded in 1851, the university currently enrolls about 2,500 students.[1] Studies are offered in approximately 90 different academic programs.


On June 7, 2019, the trustees appointed Dr. Charles A. Fowler as the 23rd president of the university. He succeeds Dr. Paul Percy, who served as interim president, following the retirement of Dr. J. Randall O'Brien in December 2018. Dr. Fowler began his tenure July 1, 2019.

Past Presidents[edit]

Mossy Creek Missionary Baptist Seminary Era

  • Rev. William Rogers (1851-1851)
  • Rev. R.R. Bryan (1851-1853)
  • Rev. Matthew Hillsman (1857-1859)

Mossy Creek Baptist College Era

  • Rev. R. R. Bryan (1866-1868)
  • Dr. Jesse Baker (1869-1870)
  • Dr. N.B. Goforth (1870-1881)

Carson College and Newman College Era

  • Dr. W.T. Russell (1882-1889) as the first and only president of Newman College
  • Dr. W.A. Montgomery (1888-1893)

Carson-Newman College Era

  • Dr. John T. Henderson (1892-1903)
  • Dr. M. D. Jeffries (1903-1912)
  • Dr. J.M. Burnett (1912-1917)
  • Dr. W. L. Gentry (1917-1919)
  • Dr. Oscar L. Sams (1920-1927)
  • Dr. James T. Warren (1927-1948)
  • Dr. I.N. Carr (interim 1948)
  • Dr. D. Harley Fite (1948-1968)
  • Dr. John A. Fincher(1968-1977)
  • Dr. J. Cordell Maddox (1977-2000)
  • Dr. James S. Netherton (2000-2007)
  • Mr. Joe Bill Sloan (interim 2007-2008)

Carson-Newman University

  • Dr. J. Randall O'Brien (2008-2018)
  • Dr. Paul Percy (interim 2019)
  • Dr. Charles Fowler (2019-present)


Following a ten-year effort of five early East Tennessee Baptists, the school was established as Mossy Creek Missionary Baptist Seminary in 1851. The school began by holding classes in a local Baptist church. Within a few years the institution became Mossy Creek Baptist College and occupied its own buildings on the site of the present campus.

In 1880, the university was named Carson College for James Harvey Carson (1801–1880), who left $15,000 of his estate to the school.[2][3] For several years it existed alongside Newman College, a separate facility for the education of women named for William Cate Newman, who had donated money to the women's college. In 1889, the two colleges united as one of the first coeducational institutions in the South. The institution operated as Carson–Newman College until 2012 when the board of trustees voted to acknowledge recent organizational changes by changing the name to Carson–Newman University.[4]

In 1919, Carson–Newman became officially affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention. The college was admitted to membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1927 and the Association of American Colleges in 1928.

During World War II, Carson–Newman was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.[5]

During most of its history, Carson–Newman University has served as a residential four-year, liberal arts college with courses of study leading to the baccalaureate degree.

More recently, the university has been recognized for its student based Hunger Games.[clarification needed] In keeping with its commitment to service learning, Carson–Newman has held the Hunger Games each fall since 2011 in order to raise funds for local charities. In 2014, over 12,000 USD was raised from the games.[6]

In 2015 the school applied for and received a Title IX exemption so that it could maintain its status as a private Christian institution and also granting it the right to turn away "gay students, unwed mothers, women who've had an abortion and even students who may be pregnant" should it so choose to do so.[7] Then-President Dr. Randall O'Brien states that the decision was made based on the advice of legal counsel and that the school does not discriminate and does not plan to.[8]

Through an alumni donation in 2010, the university acquired a neglected 18-acre wooded area of land along Mossy Creek. More recently, the property has been transformed from an overgrown woods with a "dead creek" into a beautiful park. Over the years, the site has become increasingly important to the biology program and others at Carson-Newman. In Fall 2017, the creek started showing fresh signs of life once again.[9]


Carson–Newman's Mathematics program is home to American statistician Kenneth Massey. The Army ROTC Nursing program is the largest in Tennessee.


The campus is located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, between Overlook Ave (West) and Meadow Spring Ave (East), and between Ellis St (South) and Deborah St (North).


Carson–Newman Eagles logo

Carson–Newman is a member of the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) and fields 18 varsity teams in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II competition. Men's varsity sports at Carson-Newman are: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, and Track & Field. Women's sports are: Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track & Field, and Volleyball. In the spring of 2015 the volleyball program expanded to include a beach volleyball program, being one of around 40 schools in the United States to offer the sport.

Notable alumni and faculty[edit]


  1. ^ "Carson-Newman sees historic enrollment". Carson–Newman University. September 8, 2015. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  2. ^ "Higher Education in Tennessee". Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  3. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "C-N trustees vote to begin process of name change to "University"". Carson–Newman University. October 19, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  5. ^ "U.S. Naval Administration in World War II". HyperWar Foundation. 2011. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
  6. ^ Habegger, Becca (November 17, 2014). "Local university holds Hunger Games fundraiser for charity". WBIR-TV. Archived from the original on December 11, 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  7. ^ Davis, Lauren (December 3, 2015). "Carson-Newman University granted exemption from discrimination laws". WVLT-TV. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  8. ^ Holloway, Hailey (December 11, 2015). "Carson-Newman University gets Title IX exemption". WATE-TV. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  9. ^ Hightower, Cliff (February 4, 2018). "Carson-Newman AD turns overgrown, donated land into scenic park". Citizen Tribune. Retrieved February 20, 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°07′19″N 83°29′32″W / 36.12194°N 83.49222°W / 36.12194; -83.49222